Blind Pontypool woman paid £6,500 for ‘unsafe’ garden work

A BLIND woman from New Inn has said she feels she has “been taken advantage of” after paying thousands for work in her garden which she claims is unsafe and uses “sub-standard materials”.

Lisa Potter, 49, said she paid John Blooming Garden Services £6,500 for work to be carried out on her garden. The company subcontracted out the work on the decking and fencing, but supplied the materials, she said.

The work started on May 29, but, after three weeks of work, she said she has been left unable to use her garden.

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“I decided to get my garden sorted as I am now living by myself and I wanted to be able to go outside in the garden with my guide dog,” she said.

“The fence is already warping and there’s gaps in the fence. I have been told that it’s got to be re-done.

“I have no qualms with the person who built the fence, he was just given sub-standard materials. I’m going to have to pay to re-do it all.

South Wales Argus: The fence which had been installed in Lisa Potter's garden warped within a few weeks. Picture: Lisa Potter.The fence which had been installed in Lisa Potter’s garden warped within a few weeks. Picture: Lisa Potter.

“On the decking, the handrails were upside down, there’s no handrails on the steps, the screws are in the wrong place and there’s no swell space between the boards, so it will buckle.

“I just want to go out there with my guide dog, but I can’t at the moment as the ground is so uneven.

“That’s how he left the area that was supposed to be level with my patio. There’s still bricks sticking out of there.

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“My friends had to help clear it.

“I’m gutted that I haven’t been able to get what I wanted.

“I just feel I have been taken advantage of.”

Ms Potter claimed she has been unable to contact the company since they ‘finished’ work on her garden.

“He kept promising he would get back to me,” she said.

“This guy has disappeared of the face of the earth. He gave me a false address and shut his phone down.”

South Wales Argus: A pile of offcuts, mud and bricks were left uncleared by workers in Lisa Potter's garden. Picture: Lisa Potter.A pile of offcuts, mud and bricks were left uncleared by workers in Lisa Potter’s garden. Picture: Lisa Potter.

Ms Potter said she spoken to the Citizen’s Advice Helpline about reporting the company to trading standards, but as she had no correct details of the business, she was told there would be difficulties in pursuing a case.

“While trading standards does have powers under the criminal legislation we enforce that would allow us to try and investigate a trader who has failed to provide adequate or genuine contact information,” said a spokeswoman.

“This is not a failsafe and if the only contact details the consumer has for a trader is a mobile telephone number, it is not always possible to trace a person with this information alone.”

John Blooming Garden Services were contacted for comment.

Ms Potter has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to re-do the work. Anyone who wishes to donate can do via: gofundme.com/f/help-to-finish-please

South Wales Argus | Business